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S E P T E M B E R   1 8 6 0

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THE CHILDREN'S HOUR

by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow



In Poetry Pages:

"Recollecting Longfellow"
A selection of poems by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow originally published in The Atlantic Monthly.


Also by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow:

Santa Filomena (1857)
Paul Revere's Ride (1861)
Canto XXIII, from Three Cantos of Dante's Paradiso (1864)
On Translating the Divina Commedia (1864; 1866)
Vox Populi (1871)
The Leap of Roushan Beg (1878)
The Chamber Over the Gate (1879)


More poetry from The Atlantic Monthly.

Between the dark and the daylight,
    When the night is beginning to lower,
Comes a pause in the day's occupations
    That is known as the Children's Hour.

I hear in the chamber above me
    The patter of little feet,
The sound of a door that is opened,
    And voices soft and sweet.

From my study I see in the lamplight,
    Descending the broad hall-stair,
Grave Alice, and laughing Allegra,
    And Edith with golden hair.

A whisper, and then a silence:
    Yet I know by their merry eyes
They are plotting and planning together
    To take me by surprise.

A sudden rush from the stairway,
    A sudden raid from the hall!
By three doors left unguarded
    They enter my castle wall!

They climb up into my turret
    O'er the arms and back of my chair;
If I try to escape, they surround me;
    They seem to be everywhere.

They almost devour me with kisses,
    Their arms about me entwine,
Till I think of the Bishop of Bingen
    In his Mouse-Tower on the Rhine!

Do you think, O blue-eyed banditti,
    Because you have scaled the wall,
Such an old moustache as I am
    Is not a match for you all?

I have you fast in my fortress,
    And will not let you depart,
But put you down into the dungeons
    In the round-tower of my heart.

And there will I keep you forever,
    Yes, forever and a day,
Till the walls shall crumble to ruin,
    And moulder in dust away!


The Atlantic Monthly; September 1860; "The Children's Hour," by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow ; Volume VI, No. 3; pages 354.
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